CERN

A lot of people say they would like to travel to Mars, but Zoe Townsend doesn’t just talk the talk. As a mechanical engineer at CERN, she knows the importance of putting ideas to the test. To see if she could actually handle the unique challenges posed by living and doing science on another planet, Townsend spent 12 days on a simulated Mars mission in the deserts of Utah.

From Exascale Computing Project, May 28, 2019: Fermilab scientist Andreas Kronfeld is featured in this piece on the Excascale Computing Project, quantum chromodynamics and lattice QCD. Kronfeld, the principal investigator of ECP’s LatticeQCD project, explains how exascale computing will be essential to extending the work of precision calculations in particle physics to nuclear physics. The calculations are central for interpreting all experiments in particle physics and nuclear physics.

A dynamic duo at CERN is planting seeds to foster physics research in Nepal. Like many students in Nepal, they moved abroad to pursue the best higher education opportunities. Now, they are using their unique experiences working at CERN to bring some of these opportunities back to his home country.

From Seeker, May 30, 2019: The LHC is the world’s largest particle collider, but has it hit its limit? This 13-minute video discusses how an international community of physicists are calling for a new CERN discovery machine that can reach even higher collision energies and potentially unlock the biggest mysteries of our universe.

From CERN, May 24, 2019: The CMS collaboration used a large proton–proton collision dataset, collected during the Large Hadron Collider’s second run, to search for instances in which the Higgs boson might transform, or “decay”, into a photon and a massless dark photon.

It’s not always about what you discover. The LHC research program is famous for discovering and studying the long-sought Higgs boson. But out of the spotlight, scientists have been using the LHC for an equally important scientific endeavor: testing, constraining and eliminating hundreds of theories that propose solutions to outstanding problems in physics, such as why the force of gravity is so much weaker than other known forces like electromagnetism.

A re-examination of a particle discovered in 2015 has scientists debating its true identity. A recent analysis by the LHCb collaboration at CERN raises questions about the identity of this pentaquark—and may have taken scientists back to square one in the search for a particle that could shed light on questions about color.

A Swedish university tapped the founding director of CERN’s artist-in-residence program to curate a new art exhibit inspired by physics. The pieces are not literal translations of physics concepts to other media or illustrations of physics principles or phenomena. Physics was a spark for the artists, sometimes very clearly and sometimes more tangentially.